Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Practicals: The Element of Air

I’d been home alone for several days when one of the guys from the cave expedition called.  “Hey, we are heading out tomorrow to find the next elemental.  You in?”

“Of course,” I reply, not sure if I wanted to be in our not, but I was not going to miss a weird thing happening.

We started out before daylight and we drove.  We drove east and hurried the sun’s daily birth along at 70 miles per hour.  Then, the clouds came.  They were black and ominous, completely blacking out the horizon and the morning sun.

We turned down a dirt road and got out of the vehicle.  The clouds were thick and rolling, but didn’t seem to hold any water.  There was only wind.  Dust kicked up from the road.  Debris was dancing across the ground.  Our vehicle rocked gently.

Then, a funnel dipped toward us.

Before we could react, we were pulled off of our feet and into the air.  The being that met us looked so alien.  Its head and tail (it had no legs) swirled like the funnel and its arms, with its exaggerated hands and fingers, looked like lengths of twisted rope.

We all hung in mid-air, not really still, but not being violently thrown around, either.  “You have no fear.  Why?” It asked.

Its voice was like the whisper of butterfly wings.  It was there, but gentle.  We all looked at each other, confounded, until I spoke.  “We seek to know your mysteries.”

The being’s laugh was that gentle breeze that catches your hair and makes it tickle your face. “You can not hope to know all of my mysteries,” it replied, “however, since I have already introduced you to flight, I will also introduce you to whimsy.”

With that, we began tumbling within the whirlwind.  We went up.  We went down. We circled each other in an ecstatic dance none of us were in control of.  Only when we were all laughing hysterically with joy did the being put us down.

We landed on the grass of the ditch bank on our rumps.  Our sides hurt.  Our cheeks hurt.  We were all out of breath.  I was the first to look up.  The sky was no longer black.  There were no clouds.  That show, I think, was just for us.

Then, a brightly colored butterfly fluttered toward me and landed on my forehead. 

The Air element is, like the others, a mystery to know.  Air is something we know quite intimately, having to breathe it and all, but it is also something we can not see.  Air can skew our perception.  It can clear our vision.  It can build walls between us.  In much the same way the other elements have their constructive and destructive attributes, Air can help create or destroy.

Air represents thought and intellect, mirroring beautifully the physicality of thought as something real but intangible.  It coincides quite gracefully with that which is logical, intellectual, and devoid of emotion.  Yet, if we did not have the Air element, there would be no laughter, no breath, indeed, no life at all (as we know it!) 

When working with the element of Air, it is so important to remember that Air is not all work and no play.  The eastern element is a place of beginnings, so it also corresponds with childhood. 

Have you ever watched children play?  They play with abandon.  They don’t need a reason to laugh.  They don’t need a reason to love or to include anyone in their play time.  Children embody much of the good of the air element.  They think, but they don’t over think.

Over thinking is one of the destructive forces of the Air element.  It’s how we talk ourselves out of things.  It’s how we become convinced that a good idea really isn’t a good idea at all.  Over thinking anything is a sign of too much air.

If the Earth element represents the winter time, then the Air element represents spring.  Much like physical air, springtime is full of potential energy.  Not every bud on a tree becomes a leaf.  Not every bud on a tulip becomes a flower however these things do have that potential.  In much the same way, the sweet, warm breeze can become a tornado.

Have you ever spoken to the Tulip People?  What about any of the other spring flowers?  Have you spoken to the Robin?  Maybe the Earthworm?  All of these spirits can give you exceptional insight into spring as a beginning.  Remember, though, etiquette is different for them than it is with humans.

So, then, what happens when the Air element gets out of balance?  Well, too much air can lead to a lack of emotions.  We all know that one person who is like a Vulcan.  That’s a good example of too much air.  Something we don’t think about, though, is that too much air can also lead to not being too fun to be around.  Whimsy, like the flight of a hummingbird, is also governed by the air element.

What would a lack of air look like, then?  Maybe too much emotion?  Melodrama?  Excitement or depression?  Maybe a lack of air would look like one is being illogical and unreasonable.  We all know that person, too, that free spirit who simply floats along following the whims of the universe.

To balance Air, one must decide if there is an abundance or a lack of.  Some activities I like to do to balance out my own Air are coloring, drawing, playing games, walking, reading something light-hearted, and even being around children, such as at a park.  I also like to swing on a swing set or porch swing.  For me, activities that get me out of my own head are perfect.

Of course, if one doesn’t have enough Air, then activities like putting together a puzzle, reading something ‘heavy’ but interesting, like an instruction or reference booklet on a topic of interest are both good ways to step back into ones head or get ‘out of the clouds’.

With Imbolc coming soon and spring following soon thereafter, the perfect time to explore the air element is upon us!  If you have suggestions for Air activities, please, feel free to comment.  There can never be too many different ways to commune with the Elementals.

Brightest Blessings, Friends!

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